National Theatre launches streaming service

Royal National Theatre Mosquitoes a play by Lucy Kirkwood with: Sofia Barclay Amanda Boxer Olivia Colman Cait Davis Vanessa Emme Yoli Fuller Paul Hilton Joseph Quinn Ira Mandela Siobhan Olivia Williams Director Rufus Norris Designer Katrina Lindsay Lighting Designer Paule Constable Music Adam Cork Sound Designer Paul Arditti Video Designer Finn Ross Video Designer Ian William Galloway Movement Ira Mandela Siobhan Fight Director Kev McCurdy

The National Theatre, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, has launched National Theatre at Home, a new streaming platform.

The service launches with productions including the first ever National Theatre Live, Phèdre with Helen Mirren, Othello with Adrian Lester and the Young Vic’s Yerma with Billie Piper, new titles from the NT’s  catalogue of filmed theatre will be added to the platform every month.

In addition to productions previously broadcast to cinemas by National Theatre Live, a selection of plays filmed for the NT’s Archive will be released online for the first time through National Theatre at Home, including Lucy Kirkwood’s Mosquitoes with Olivia Colman and Inua Ellams’ new version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters (a co-production with Fuel).

Viewers can choose a monthly or annual subscription to access the full catalogue and exclusive backstagecontent, or can opt to rent single plays for a 72-hour window.

National Theatre at Home’s digital streaming offer was first made available during the UK’s first COVID lockdown when theatres and cinemas were closed. This resulted in over 15 million views for 16 productions over four months and reached 173 countries around the world.

Lisa Burger, Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre, said: “We were overjoyed to have had 15 million views for National Theatre at Home earlier this year and to discover we had reached so many audiences new to theatre both in the UK and worldwide. At a time when many people were isolated at home, it was uplifting to see audiences recreate the shared experience of visiting the theatre. From homemade tickets to interval drinks, NT at Home was a way of making people feel more connected. And so, since the last stream finished in July, we have been determined to find a way to give our audiences access to these stunning filmed productions online once again. With the agreement from artists, we are now able to showcase an extraordinary range of fantastic NT Live productions and, for the first time, some treasured plays from our NT Archive. This is a really exciting day for the National Theatre as we launch a major, online streaming destination for our filmed theatre productions which we hope will continue to provide audiences with the power and joy of theatre for as long as it is needed. We want National Theatre at Home to once again bring people together from all over the world after what has been a very tough 2020for so many.”

Source: televisual.com – National Theatre launches streaming service

Sir Kenneth Branagh and Olivia Colman join cast of Peter Pan charity audio play

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Stage and screen stars including Sir Kenneth Branagh and Olivia Colman have lent their voices to an audio play of Peter Pan in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Children’s Charity.

Author JM Barrie donated the copyright of the works to the hospital in 1929, but with theatres closed and Christmas shows on hold due to Covid-19, its charity is missing out on its annual income from royalties and donations.

The retelling will feature contributions from Sharon D Clarke, Joanna Riding, Bertie Carvel, Jane Horrocks, Jason Flemyng, Clive Rowe and more.

Adapted by Shaun McKenna, the production will also feature an original score by Annabelle Brown.

Barrie’s tale of a free-spirited young boy who never grows up will be presented in four 30-minute chapters, all rehearsed over Zoom and recorded remotely.

Members of the GOSH Young People’s Forum, including patients currently undergoing treatment and former patients, will also perform alongside the professional cast.

Money from the production will go towards the GOSH Charity to fund medical research, equipment, support services for children and families and rebuilding and refurbishment.

Liz Tait, director of fundraising at GOSH Charity, said: “We are so grateful to the many stars who lent their voices to this creative audio adaptation of the timeless story of Peter Pan, alongside children and young people from the hospital whose contribution helped bring this tale to life in such a unique way.

“One hundred per cent of proceeds from the downloads of this adaptation will help us support seriously ill children from across the UK who are cared for at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and we truly hope that the families listening in the lead up to Christmas enjoy the comfort of storytelling together, after the challenging year everyone has faced.

“Thank you to everyone who downloads this adaptation, and to all those involved in its creation.”

The audio play is available on iTunes from Sunday December 20.

Source: evening express.co.uk – Sir Kenneth Branagh and Olivia Colman join cast of Peter Pan charity audio play

Olivia Colman’s South Of The River & Sister Launch Comedy Writer-Performer Competition; Phoebe Waller-Bridge Among Judges

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Olivia Colman’s South Of The River Pictures and its commercial partner Sister are launching a comedy writer competition, with at least one winner getting the chance to develop a TV script with the companies.

The Screenshot initiative will be spearheaded by Debo Adebayo and will focus on comedy writer-performers from a theatre background. The aim is to help them take their work from the stage to the screen in much the same way as competition judge Phoebe Waller-Bridge did with Fleabag.

Joining Waller-Bridge on the panel will be Colman, actress Lolly Adefope, comedian Rosie Jones, BBC comedy commissioner Kate Daughton, Channel 4 head of comedy Fiona McDermott and Sky commissioner Tilusha Ghelan. Longlisted candidates will pitch their projects to the panel.

Winners will go into paid development, while shortlisted candidates will also receive a contribution towards the development or budget of their next live theatrical show. The competition is a direct response to the devastating impact coronavirus has had on the performing arts industry.

Colman and South Of The River partner Ed Sinclair said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer a new outlet for the thwarted creative energies of our brilliant writer-performers and look forward to discovering and supporting some amazing new talent.”

Sister executive producer Naomi de Pear added: “We hope this scheme, in some small way, can be an outlet for some of the incredible talent that has had opportunities snatched away this year. So if you’re currently driving your flatmates/partner/mother/ grandad/ kids potty with your one-person show this is the place for you. It’s the spirit of live comedy and theatre and the intensity of writer-performer driven work that makes it so special so don’t hold back.”

source: deadline.com – Olivia Colman’s South Of The River & Sister Launch Comedy Writer-Performer Competition; Phoebe Waller-Bridge Among Judges

Olivia Colman makes classical album debut with the Kanneh-Mason family

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You may know her best as an Oscar-winning actress, acclaimed for her roles in The Favourite and The Crown, but national treasure Olivia Colman has added a new string to her bow – taking off her Queenly garb to collaborate with the Kanneh-Mason family on their new album.

The gifted group of seven siblings, who range between 11 and 24-years old, consists of Isata, Braimah, Sheku, Konya, Jeneba, Aminata and Mariatu. Sheku may be familiar to royal fans as the young cellist who made waves with his moving performance at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding in 2018.

For those expecting Colman to showcase previously unknown operatic skills, however, it’s worth noting that she’s speaking, rather than singing, on the new album. It features brand-new poems from renowned author Michael Morpurgo, read by the author himself, with the help of Colman. Morpurgo reads the role of Grandpa, for example, in his Grandpa Christmas story, with Mariatu, the youngest Kanneh-Mason, playing his granddaughter.

Recorded at London’s famed Abbey Road Studios, the Kaneh-Masons have brought new life to the musical suite, ‘Carnival of the Animals’, by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, which is interspersed with readings. As well as Morpurgo and Colman lending a hand, guest musicians joined the family to complete the ensemble for the suite.

The album also includes the Kanneh-Masons’ own arrangement of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song, paying tribute to the artist 40 years on from the song’s original release in 1980. Special artwork was commissioned from illustrator Emma Chichester Clark, who created a whimsical world of friendly animals, keeping the seven Kanneh-Mason siblings and their instruments company.

Morpurgo said of the Kanneh-Masons: ‘These young people are remarkable, not because they are young, not because they are the seven siblings from one family, but simply because they make magnificent music together, and it is evident they love doing it. Hear them and you know it. See them and you know it.’

The Kanneh-Masons commented: ‘This album has grown from our passion as a family for making music together. This has been a heart-breaking time for musicians and performing artists. We want to share our love of music and our passion for communication. As young children, the power of combining music with storytelling is truly magical and we are honoured to have collaborated with Michael Morpurgo, Olivia Colman and the wonderful musicians who joined us, to create music that celebrates our connection with the natural world. Together, we want to inspire children and adults to listen more closely, to value our world and all the diversity within.’

source: tatler.com – Olivia Colman makes classical album debut with the Kanneh-Mason family

Unicef UK announces Olivia Colman CBE as new President

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OLIVIA has been a committed supporter of Unicef UK since 2015, helping to raise awareness and funds for Unicef’s work supporting children and families around the world.

She has supported campaigns for children affected by conflict in Syria, as well as leading many successful appeals, more recently for the children of Yemen and as part of Soccer Aid for Unicef in 2019, the same year she became an official Unicef UK Ambassador.

During this time, Olivia has also visited schools in the UK to highlight the work Unicef is doing to create safe and inspiring places for children to learn.

Sacha Deshmukh, Executive Director of Unicef UK said:

“Over the past five years, Olivia has shown an incredible dedication to children around the world, demonstrating an ongoing passion to support Unicef’s work addressing the needs of the world’s most vulnerable children and young people. I am thrilled that as Unicef UK’s President Olivia will be able to be an even more powerful voice on behalf of children around the world at a time when Unicef’s work is more important than ever.”

Olivia Colman said:

“I feel honoured to be taking on this role at Unicef UK, a charity I am so committed to and passionate about. The scale of the work Unicef delivers never ceases to impress me: supplying vital medical equipment, supporting health, water, education and social services for children around the world. I can think of nothing more important than keeping children healthy and happy, something which is even more important now that children’s lives are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Ultimately Unicef provides hope as we seek to protect children now and build a better future together and I am excited to be part of that.”

Olivia will take up her appointment as President of Unicef UK with immediate effect.

Source : charitytoday.co.uk – Unicef UK announces Olivia Colman CBE as new President

Olivia Colman, Tom Hiddleston and Paul Rudd to narrate natural world series for Apple TV+

The wonder of the natural world and a simple celebration of humanity are at the heart of three documentaries narrated by Olivia Colman, Tom Hiddleston and Paul Rudd and streaming on Apple TV+ later in 2020.

The Apple Original series will showcase “never-before-seen footage, groundbreaking technology and dynamic storytelling”, according to Apple.

Tiny World – narrated by Paul Rudd

Narrated by Golden Globe nominee Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Tiny World takes a unique perspective on the natural world, exploring the ingenuity and resilience of the smallest animals on the planet. Brand new camera technology will allow the viewers to see the world through the eyes of the tiniest creatures and find out how they survive. The first six episodes of Tiny World will premiere on Friday, 2nd October.

Becoming You – narrated by Olivia Colman

Academy Award and BAFTA winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite) will narrate this series about global child development, which explores how the first 2000 days on Earth shape the rest of our lives. A hundred children from around the world, from Nepal to Japan and Borneo, feature as the documentary investigates how children learn to think, speak and move from birth to the age of five. Becoming You will premiere around the world on Friday, 13th November.

Earth At Night In Colour – narrated by Tom Hiddleston

Golden Globe winner Tom Hiddleston (Thor) narrates this natural history series which uses next-generation cameras to reveal the nocturnal lives of animals, in colour, for the first time ever. Filmed across six continents, from the Arctic Circle to the African grasslands, it follows the moonlit dramas of animals at night, revealing what goes on when the lights are out.  Earth At Night In Colour will premiere globally with six episodes on Friday, 4th December.

The three new documentary series will join Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s Long Way Up, the epic new motorcycle series that is an adventure in both travel and friendship, which premiereson Apple TV+ on Friday, 18th September.

Apple’s original catalogue is expanding rapidly and also includes Fireball, an original feature documentary directed by Werner Herzog and Professor Clive Oppenheimer; the 2020 Sundance US Grand Jury Prize award-winning documentary, Boys State; the acclaimed, five-time Emmy nominated, Beastie Boys Story; and the Emmy-nominated docu-series Home.

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, as well as at tv.apple.com, for £4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial.

Source: radiotimes.com – Olivia Colman, Tom Hiddleston and Paul Rudd to narrate natural world series for Apple TV+

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Olivia Colman welcome Amazon arts donation

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Olivia Colman have welcomed a donation from Amazon Prime Video to a fund which the actors launched to help support theatre professionals whose livelihoods have been threatened by the pandemic.

Amazon said it would give $6m to support the European film, TV and theatre production community get through the crisis.

The first awards are £1m to a Covid-response fund created by the film and TV charity; and £500,000 to the theatre community fund spearheaded by Waller-Bridge, Colman and their Fleabag producer Francesca Moody.

In a joint statement the three women said: “We’re utterly blown away to have such an extraordinary level of support from Amazon.

“Our theatre community has never been more threatened or fragile and this donation, alongside those from other industry individuals, is a game changer for its future. On behalf of the theatre community fund we extend a huge thank you to Amazon for the acknowledgement of the value and power of UK theatre and how we as an industry will survive anything when we hold each other up in times of crisis.”

Waller-Bridge is a hugely powerful figure in the film and TV industry whose career began, like countless others, in live performing arts – one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. Fleabag, her breakthrough, was first performed at the Underbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013.

The fund was launched at the end of July with a £1m pledge of donations by its founders and from other star names including Gillian Anderson, James Corden, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daisy Ridley, Daniel Radcliffe and Meera Syal.

The Amazon money will help in the fund’s two strands offering grants of up to £3,000. The first is hardship grants to freelancers in immediate need. The second is innovation and creation money to help artists produce work.

The other donation, of £1m, will go to the film and TV charity, which has so far distributed more than £3.3m in financial support to thousands of workers in the industry. The Amazon money will, it said, “kick-start a second wave of support including a major new grants scheme that will focus on supporting diverse talent as the industry recovers and production resumes”.

The donations can arguably be traced back to an intervention made by Sam Mendes in June. In the Financial Times he wrote of the irony of Netflix and Amazon Prime “making lockdown millions from our finest acting, producing, writing and directing talent, while the very arts culture that nurtured that talent pool is allowed to die”.

He called on the streaming giants to use “a fraction of their Covid-19 windfall to help those who have been mortally wounded”.

A month later Netflix gave £500,000 to a theatre freelance aid fund spearheaded by Mendes. That theatre artists fund has raised more than £2m.

Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said: “The creative community in Europe has been vital to our success in producing high-quality Amazon original TV series and movies for our global audience, and it is essential for us to help that community through this pandemic.”

The money was welcomed by the UK government. Caroline Dinenage, culture minister, said: “We recognise that the last few months have been difficult for many people in the performing arts and screen industries given the impact of Covid-19.

“This donation from Amazon adds to the unprecedented support from the UK government to help secure these brilliant industries’ future and help them thrive once more.”

Source: theguardian.com – Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Olivia Colman welcome Amazon arts donation

Olivia Colman, Mandip Gill and Tom Hardy to star in audio adaptation of Beatrix Potter

Fans of Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Jemima Puddle-Duck are in luck – Penguin Random House is releasing a new audio edition of Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales featuring a star-studded cast.

In honour of the British author’s birthday, the likes of Olivia Colman (The Crown), Mandip Gill (Doctor Who), Tom Hardy (Taboo) and Lily James (Cinderella) will be narrating 23 of Beatrix Potter’s classic stories, from The Tale of Mr. Tod (Hugh Bonneville) to The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies (Jenna Coleman).

The cast of Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales, which will be available in audio download and physical CD on 17th September, also features The Stranger‘s Richard Armitage, Absolutely Fabulous’s Joanna Lumley, Homeland’s David Harewood, Broadchurch’s David Tennant, Doctor Who’s Pearl Mackie, This Way Up’s Aisling Bea, Doctor Foster’s Suranne Jones, Peep Show’s Robert Webb, Grantchester’s James Norton and The One Show’s Matt Baker among other stars.

Downton Abbey’s Bonneville said: “Reading The Tale of Mr. Tod again after many decades, I was delighted to discover that the animals that Beatrix Potter loved, drew and wrote such entertaining stories about have stood the test of time. Mischievous creatures, family calamities – action packed!”

“I was so thrilled to be asked to read The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck as I was a huge Beatrix Potter fan as a young girl and my son was gifted the whole Peter Rabbit library when he was born too,” said Jones. “The night before I went to record the story we all read it together which was incredibly sweet. I’m glad the characters have been committed to audio so many more families can share in their adventures.”

Beatrix Potter wrote all 23 children’s tales, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin, between 1901 and 1930, before dying aged 77 in 1943.

Various films about her life and her iconic stories have been made in recent years, including 2006’s Miss Potter, starring Renée Zellweger, and 2018’s Peter Rabbit, with James Corden voicing the eponymous bunny.

Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales will be available to buy in CD form or download from 17th September. You can also order The World of Peter Rabbit – The Complete Collection from AmazonIf you’re looking for more to watch, check out ourTV guide.

Source: radiotimes.com – Olivia Colman, Mandip Gill and Tom Hardy to star in audio adaptation of Beatrix Potter

Olivia Colman supports Unicef appeal to help children affected by coronavirus

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Olivia Colman has thrown her support behind a Unicef UK campaign aimed at supporting children through the coronavirus pandemic.

The Oscar-winning actress will read a story for a summer fiction issue of British Esquire magazine, which is raising money for Unicef UK’s Save Generation Covid appeal.

Actress Claire Foy, actor David Harewood and writer Will Self are also supporting the campaign.

Colman, who will read That’s Where I’ll Find You by Andrew O’Hagan, said: “After five years of working with Unicef UK, I have seen how small donations can make a really big difference for children.

“The coronavirus pandemic has upended the lives of children in the UK and abroad, and threatens children already weakened by war, disease, hunger and poverty, whose very survival depends on health care, life-saving food, clean water and medical supplies.

“Now more than ever, they need our support.

“This crisis is the biggest issue for children since World War Two, and I am proud to be supporting Save Generation Covid, to ensure children can thrive beyond the crisis.”

The Save Generation Covid appeal is supporting children and their families who have been affected by coronavirus around the world.

Andrew O’Hagan, Unicef UK ambassador and Esquire editor-at-large, said: “Where there is no clean water, and no soap, a vulnerable child is more likely to be infected with coronavirus.

“In all my years of working with Unicef UK, this has been our single biggest appeal.

“Children need you right now. I am proud to be backing this simple message.”

The Save Generation Covid appeal is supporting children and their families who have been affected by coronavirus around the world.

Andrew O’Hagan, Unicef UK ambassador and Esquire editor-at-large, said: “Where there is no clean water, and no soap, a vulnerable child is more likely to be infected with coronavirus.

“In all my years of working with Unicef UK, this has been our single biggest appeal.

“Children need you right now. I am proud to be backing this simple message.”

Source: wiltglossstandard.co.uk – Olivia Colman supports Unicef appeal to help children affected by coronavirus

Olivia Colman and Colin Firth set for period drama ”Mothering Sunday”

Olivia is standing on a staircase looking off to the left with a beautiful dress on

Los Angeles, Jun 26 (PTI) Oscar winners Olivia Colman and Colin Firth are set to star in period drama “Mothering Sunday”.

The film, which will be directed by Eva Husson, will also feature Colman”s “The Crown” co-star Josh O”Connor and actor Odessa Young, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Alice Birch, who most recently worked as a writer on BBC and Hulu”s critically-acclaimed series “Normal People”, has penned the script.

The movie is based on Graham Swift”s novel which is set in England in 1924. The events take place over the course of one day– the holiday Mothering Sunday.

Maid Jane Fairchild (Young) has the day off, as her employers, Mr. and Mrs. Niven (Firth and Colman) are attending an event to celebrate the engagement of their neighbours” son, Paul (O’Connor).

Jane is an orphan, so has no mother to spend the day with—but she does have Paul, with whom she”s been having a years-long secret affair.

Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley’s Number 9 are producing, with financing from Film4 and Ingenious.

The film is expected to start production later this year. 

Source – Olivia Colman and Colin Firth set for period drama ”Mothering Sunday”